International Exhibition: Volunteering during the Covid-19 Crisis

November 29, 2023
Category: News

As part of the ERAS II – Learnings from Covid-19 Crisis project, partners from Slovenia, Portugal, Hungary, Bulgaria, Latvia, and Greece collaborated to organize an international exhibition showcasing volunteer stories and actions during the pandemic. The exhibition aimed to highlight the work and achievements of volunteers, emphasizing their significant contribution to mitigating the effects of the epidemic. Volunteers engaged in various activities, ranging from efforts to prevent the spread of the virus to environmental conservation workshops.


Explore 30 inspiring stories of volunteers and their actions during the Covid-19 pandemic, showcasing the impact of their volunteer work in addressing the challenges posed by the pandemic.


Volunteers played crucial roles in informing citizens about the virus and preventive measures, offering free transportation during public transport shutdowns, distributing hot meals, sewing protective masks, providing free psychosocial support, assisting in hospitals, and helping vulnerable groups stay at home safely while still receiving necessary goods and services. Additionally, volunteers collected and distributed gifts to children, organized fundraising events for purchasing protective equipment, and conducted events to provide unique experiences to individuals with disabilities. Workshops focused on environmental conservation and summer sessions for children to learn basic first aid were also part of the volunteer initiatives.


These stories were exhibited and translated into six European languages to make them accessible to residents. Workshops and discussions on the significance of volunteering in time of crisis (Lousada, Portugal, June 22, 2023; Kekava, Latvia, July 27, 2023), volunteer opportunities for youth (Litija, Slovenia, April 25, 2023; Thessaloníkī, Greece, June 20, 2023), challenges in volunteering (Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, June 16, 2023), gender roles in volunteering (Pecs, Hungary, September 14, 2023) and support for volunteering on local level (Litija, Slovenia, April 25, 2023; Pecs, Hungary, September 15, 2023) accompanied the exhibitions.


Partners gathered and shared best practices in volunteer projects and support practices. Based on these practices and suggestions, a handbook on overcoming challenges in volunteerism was prepared, along with guidelines for municipalities on effectively supporting volunteering so that they can respond effectively in crisis situations, such as the COVID-19 epidemic and the floods faced in Europe during the summer of 2023.


Check out good practices of volunteering support by municipalities

Handbook on overcoming challenges in volunteerism

Guidelines for municipalities on effectively supporting volunteering


Exhibition Openings and Associated Events:


Litija, Slovenia (April 25, 2023):

The exhibition was on display in Litija’s park until August 4, 2023. A presentation was held in collaboration with partners and Europe Direct Zasavje, introducing high school students at Gimnazija Litija to EU support for volunteering and opportunities within the European Solidarity Corps. A discussion with residents and partners on supporting NGO development and promoting volunteering took place in the city museum on April 25, 2023.

Lousada, Portugal (June 1, 2023):

The exhibition was showcased at the Municipal Library of Lousada until June 30, 2023. On June 22, 2023, a lecture was held with residents, emphasizing the importance of volunteering during the COVID-19 crisis.

Kekava, Latvia (July 27, 2023):

The exhibition was on display at the New Ideas Centre until the end of August 2023. A conversation about volunteering and its contribution during the COVID-19 epidemic took place with residents on July 27, 2023.

Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria (June 17, 2023):

The exhibition was featured at the Regional Historical Museum, Blagoevgrad. Alongside the exhibition, a participatory methods-based workshop titled “Volunteering in Time of Crisis” occurred on June 16, 2023, involving residents and partners to identify volunteerism challenges and propose solutions.

Thessaloniki, Greece (June 20, 2023):

A presentation on European Solidarity Corps volunteer opportunities was conducted by the European Information Centre of Thessaloniki EUROPE DIRECT- on June 20, 2023.

Pécs, Hungary (August 31, 2023):

The exhibition was displayed at Szabadkikötő until September 30, 2023. A debate on gender roles in volunteering occurred with residents and partners on September 14, 2023. On September 15, 2023, partners, local volunteer organizations, and volunteers held a discussion on municipal support for volunteering.

This international exhibition and its accompanying events not only showcased the impactful stories of volunteers during the COVID-19 crisis but also facilitated meaningful discussions and initiatives to strengthen and promote volunteering across Europe.

Project European Alliance for Volunteer Support – learnings from Covid-19 crisis (ERAS II) is co-financed by European Union, programme CERV, strand Network of Towns.